Clipping your horse is another name for giving your horse a haircut. It entails shaving your horse’s coat, either part way or fully, in order to keep them from getting over heated. Clipping is usually done to horses who will be working through the winter and won’t need their thick winter coats. Depending on how much your horse will be working and how thick his winter coat is, will be the deciding factor on what type of clip your horse should receive. Clipping your horse has several benefits. These benefits include faster cool down time for your horse, it make is easier on you for grooming, and your horse won’t get overheated while being worked. Horse clipping can also be seen in the show ring during horse show season! Usually found in the English riding events, show clipping results in neatness and improves your horse’s appearance. There are many different styles/types of clips and each one has its own purpose. Some of the most popular clips include the full body, the Irish, the low/high trace, the blanket, and the hunter clip.
The Full Body Clip:
As the name applies for this style, the whole body of the horse is shaved/clipped. This type of clip is applied to show horses who are huge competitors year-round and are heavily worked. This clip results in a thinned coat that makes it easy for sweat to evaporate. This makes it easier for the horse to cool down and not get overheated when working. Because the full body clip doesn’t leave the horse with much insulation for winter, a full clipped horse should not be turned out outside during the cold months.
The Irish Clip:
The Irish clip consist of clipping your horse from top of his head, to his stomach. To achieve this clip, draw a line from the top of your horse’s head to his stomach. This line will make a triangle formation. Everything that is within this triangle shape will be clipped. The horse’s legs are usually left unclipped, but the horse’s head may sometimes be clipped as well. This style of clip is done to horses who are involved in a light work routine and are also turned out during the day.
The Low/High Trace Clip:
The low to high trace clip consists of shaving your horse from the underside of his neck, to about mid shoulder height for the high trace clip. For a low trace cut, the shave line will be a few inches lower than mid shoulder. This cut includes the stomach being clipped, as well as the lower part of the head. For this particular cut, the legs are left unclipped. This style of cut is used on horses who have a moderate work routine and are turned out during the day.
The Blanket Clip:
The blanket clip is similar to the trace clip. It consist of shaving your horse’s neck and continuing from mid- shoulder down. It is also similar in that the horse’s legs are left unclipped. But unlike the trace clip, the blanket clip results in clipping your horse’s full neck, not just the underside. For the blanket clip, the horse’s head is also clipped as well. This kind of clip allows the hair to be removed where the horse sweats the most, but also leaving enough winter coat for insulation. This type of clip is used for horses that are heavily worked and also turned out.
The Hunter Clip:
For the hunter clip all of your horse’s hair, minus the legs, is shaved off. The hair on the legs is usually unshaved as a means to offer protection and a little insulation from the cold. Sometimes, the area where the saddle and girth rub are left unshaved. This aids in giving your horse more protection from the saddle/girth rubbing and causing your horse irritation. If the horse’s back is left unshaved, it is usually clipped in the shape of the saddle and won’t be noticed during competitions. Since all of your horse’s coat is clipped for the hunter style, you want to make sure that you watch him during the cold months. Without a winter coat to keep him warm and insulated, your horse can get chilled if he is not blanketed properly. To find our more information on horse blankets and what type of blanket you will need, check out these other articles! Horses Blankets 101, Beginner’s Guide: Horse Blankets, and Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Horse Blankets.
Clipping your horse is a great way to keep him from getting overheated, especially if he is being worked throughout the winter. A clipped coat helps sweat dissolve faster and therefore cools down your horse faster. Clipping your horse can also be seen in the showing circuit. A clipped coat presents an elegant, clean-cut look that is sure to please the judges. If you plan on clipping your horse during the cold season, make sure that he is properly blanketed when he is not working. To find all your horse blanket needs, check out our horse blankets at SaddleOnline!